4 TIPS FOR DISCUSSING SOMEONE’S HEARING LOSS

November 30, 2018 0
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No matter how important taking care of our hearing abilities can be for all of us, when it comes to discussing hearing loss with our loved ones and friends, the conversation can take a frustrated turn very quickly. When anyone’s hearing abilities begin to wane, it can be challenging to know how to bring it up.

Especially if you’ve tried and gotten dismissed or a sort of frustrated reaction. Of course the goal is in no way to insult or offend someone experiencing hearing loss, but it’s gotten to the point where it cannot be ignored any longer either. So, what do you do, especially when giving up on the situation is just not an option?

If you have noticed a significant decline in a person’s hearing ability, whether it’s a friend or family member, it’s important to address the situation head-on and do it sooner rather than later. As Physicians and Audiologists, we have some tips to share with you in order to make discussing hearing loss with a friend or a loved one more successful.

  1. Explain FACTS: Hearing Loss is far more common than most people understand.
    Hearing loss is often negatively seen as a sign of aging and declining general health. In 2018, this is just not the case. Yes, hearing loss can happen as we age. However, hearing loss can happen to anyone, at any age, or in any health condition. Many of us today will begin to experience hearing loss in our teenage and early adult years. Why? Our surroundings have simply gotten louder and louder over the years and generations. And, if you work in an occupation that produces loud noises, your work could be causing your hearing loss. Occupations such as engineers, construction workers, public transportation drivers, Army, Navy and war veterans, etc… all experience levels of sounds that can be detrimental to hearing health. Also consider these facts:
  •  More than 40 Million Americans over the age of 18 suffer from hearing loss
  • 1 in 14 Generation X-ers (ages 37 to 48) already have some level of hearing loss
  • 1 in 6 Baby Boomers (ages 49 to 68) have hearing loss
  • 1 in 5 Teenagers have some type of hearing loss
  • 50% of adults aged 75 and older have hearing loss
  1. Specifically choose a quiet and private place to talk about hearing loss.
    Choosing the right time and place for a hearing loss discussion is crucial for a successful interaction. Especially for our elder generations, personal health information is private and can be scary to discuss. Many times people feel when they say things out loud, they become true. No one has ever been excited to discuss a hearing loss they thought they were hiding well. It is best to bring up a loved one’s hearing loss in a place where the person feels relaxed and comfortable. Although hearing loss can affect the entire family, the ideal first conversation should be one-on-one at first.
  2. Try to get your friend or loved one to initially bring up the issue first.
    Getting a person with hearing loss to bring up talking about their hearing loss can be a bit of a challenge. After deciding when and where you will speak to your loved one about hearing loss, consider how you think he or she will react. In some instances people may be reluctant to take advice from others, especially if the person giving the advice is a younger family member. An independent person may not positively respond to observations about their own hearing issues. If you believe this is the case, try letting your loved one self-identify the problem.
  3. Get ready to be very patient, consoling and compassionate.
    Frustration won’t get you anywhere. It is very important to be patient with a person realizing their own hearing loss, even if he or she denies having hearing loss. Do not criticize or make threats or give ultimatums. Avoid listing all the times you have noticed problems related to his or her hearing loss. This will quickly end the conversation and both of you will walk away angry. Instead, understand that many people with hearing loss realize their hearing ability has changed, but they are simply scared to admit it. With a patient and caring approach to discussing hearing loss, most people will eventually acknowledge that they do have concerns about their hearing. This is a pivotal moment when that happens.

When it comes time to talk to your loved one about their hearing loss, consider the following questions;

  • Does he/she ask you to repeat yourself often?
  • Does he/she listen to the television or radio at a noticeably high volume?
  • Does he/she avoid social settings or loud places like restaurants or parties?
  • Does he/she have difficulty talking on the phone?
  • Does he/she often mishear what you or others say?

If the answer to any of these questions is yes, Physicians Hearing Solutions can help! We offer completely free hearing screenings. What this means for you is that we do not bill your insurance, nor do we charge co-pays or office fees for the visit. Our Hearing Healthcare public service program allows us to offer a no-obligation hearing screening to anyone who inquires. Call (401) 921-0181 to schedule a free hearing screening today.

Got Hearing loss? We can help! At Physicians Hearing solutions (PHS), located in both East Providence, Rhode Island and Warwick, Rhode Island, our practice is committed to working together to bring the most quality hearing healthcare to our patients in order to achieve our overall goal of improving all of our patient’s lives with a better quality of life. To fulfill this mission, PHS is committed to earning the trust and respect of all of our patients, through providing professionalism; ensuring a creative, challenging and compassionate professional environment; exceeding your expectations; listening to those we are privileged to serve; and always striving for continuous improvement at all levels.

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Charles S. Faber, D.O.

Board Certified Doctor of Otolaryngology

Charles S. Faber, D.O.

Dr. Charles S. Faber started practicing medicine in 1980 after completing medical school in 1975. Dr. Faber became board certified in otolaryngology in 1981 and has since treated thousands of people with various hearing disorders.

Mark P. Andreozzi, D.O.

Board Certified Doctor of Otolaryngology

Mark P. Andreozzi, D.O.

Dr. Mark P Andreozzi joined the practice in 1991 and became board certified in 1992. Dr. Andreozzi has been voted as one of Rhode Island’s “Top Docs” by other doctors in the state of Rhode Island.

Barbara L. Guillette, M.D.

Board Certified Doctor of Otolaryngology

Barbara L. Guillette, M.D.

Barbara J. Guillette, MD received her bachelor’s degree in biochemistry magna cum laude from Brown University, earned her medical degree cum laude from Yale University School of Medicine, and completed her residency training in surgery and otolaryngology. She continues to practice with Brown University and Tufts University School of Medicine.

Alejandro Vazquez, M.D.

Board Certified Doctor of Otolaryngology

Alejandro Vazquez, M.D.

Alejandro Vazquez, M.D. completed residency and fellowship training at Rutgers New Jersey Medical School. He obtained his undergraduate degree from Brown University and his medical degree from the Leonard M Miller School of Medicine at the University of Miami.

Susan Enzer, Au.D.,CCC-A

Doctor of Audiology

Susan Enzer, Au.D.,CCC-A

Susan Enzer, Au.D., CCC-A, grew up in New York and moved to Rhode Island in 1986.  She received her undergraduate degree from Brandeis University.  She received her Master’s Degree from the University of Cincinnati and her Doctor of Audiology from the A.T. Still University of Health Sciences. Dr Enzer moved to Rhode Island to begin working as a clinical audiologist.  She joined our practice in 2000 and has 30 years of experience in helping people with hearing loss.  She is a member of the American Speech and Hearing Association and a fellow member of the American Academy of Audiology.

Courtney O’Neil, Au.D.

Doctor of Audiology

Courtney O’Neil, Au.D.

Courtney O’Neil, Au.D. joined our practice in 2017.  Courtney graduated with her Doctorate in Audiology from the University of Rhode Island in 2011. She has specialized in pediatric audiology for 10 years, and has also worked in private practice and ENT offices. Our practice offers hearing aids to suit any hearing loss, lifestyle and budget. We also offer financing options to qualified patients

Kimballi Andreozzi-Startz, NBC-HIS

National Board Certified Hearing Instrument Specialist

Kimballi Andreozzi-Startz, NBC-HIS

Kimballi Andreozzi-Startz, NBC-HIS joined our practice in 2015 as our Hearing Care Practitioner who is a qualified member of the International Hearing Society and has National Board Certification in Hearing Instrument Sciences.  She has been a hearing aid dispenser for over 30 years holding multiple positions as trainer, dispenser and ownership of her own practice.  She brings several years of experience and leadership to our practice.


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